Existing Home sales up 7% in July

Nationwide existing home sales rose 7.2 percent in July – the first time in five years sales have increased 4 consecutive months and the first time in a decade the month over month gain was over 6 percent, according to a report released Friday. In addition, Nashville has experienced positive price appreciation for 3 consecutive months.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said 5.24 million homes sold last month. That’s more than the 4.89 million sold in June and the 4.99 million sold in July 2008.

The housing market has decisively turned for the better,” said Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist. “A combination of first-time buyers taking advantage of the housing stimulus tax credit and greatly improved affordability conditions are contributing to higher sales.”

A practitioner survey conducted by the Realtors association showed first-time home buyers represented 30 percent of the sales last month, while 31 percent were distressed home purchases.

Other July existing home sales data included:

• Inventory of existing homes for sale rose 7.3 percent in July.

• Median home price was $178,400 – 15.1 percent lower than July 2008.

• Sales of single-family homes increased 6.5 percent for the month and 5 percent for the year.

• Condo and co-op sales rose 12.5 percent for the month and 5.9 percent for the year.

• Regionally, sales in the Northeast jumped 13.4 percent, 10.9 percent in the Midwest and 7.1 percent in the South, but dropped 1.7 percent in the West.

• PMI ranks Nashville as one of the top 10 most stable real estate markets in the United States.

• The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Tennessee created 15,600 more jobs in July than it lost.